The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – John C. Maxwell

Lessons learnt: Effective leadership is influence. Leaders grow every day. Leaders chart the course. Leaders develop leaders. Trust is the foundation of leadership. Leaders decide with the available data. You attract people who are like you, people do what they see. Leaders should create wins… continually. Leadership value is measured by succession.

Remember John C. Maxwell from his 5 levels of leadership? Not only is he a great speaker, he has also written 10 books on leadership (and many more on relationships, attitude and equipping). With this many years of experience, one might think that he has learned all there is to learn about leadership. Maxwell disagrees with you there, he states that he is just a student, ever continuing his learnings and at the same time spreading the lessons he has already learnt. In the updated and revised version of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, you are given an insight into more than 50 years of experience and research, some great leadership stories and lessons you would not dare to forget.

A review would not do justice to contemplate al 21 laws here, therefore I have chosen to introduce the two that I found most important: The Law of Progress – leadership develops daily, not in a day & The Law of Addition – leaders add value by serving others.

  1. If you spend €5,- on a latte macchiato every day for 20 years, you will have a great (?) cup of coffee each day. If you save €5,- for the same amount of time, you will have about €55.000,-. This short analogy illustrates that building on yesterday can give you a great advantage, being a leader is not about events (the coffee), it is about the power of process. Sometimes we see great leaders and think that they are formed right there on the spot, or that they had one life-changing event. Maxwell states “Champions do not become champions in the ring – they are merely recognized there”.
  2. What if Einstein kept all his discoveries to himself? What if the first Googlers kept their search engine for themselves? What if people only advanced themselves and not others? I reckon the world would be of a lot worse. Leadership is not about how far you can advance yourself, but how far you can advance others. Where you are only one person, there are many people around you who can learn from you (and others) and start spreading the lessons themselves. One example that comes to mind is of Elon Musk and Tesla. Not only has he developed a great company, recently he gave away all patents and now electric batteries are exploding (figuratively). Of course, Tesla also grows because others start using their technology, but others win too – it is what Stephen R. Covey would describe as synergy.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell

In 21 laws, or principles, Maxwell explains lessons that may seem obvious to some people, and quite radical to others. On many occasions, he uses his own life lessons (read: mistakes, and wins) to illustrate how a leadership law has worked out. It will be very difficult to excel at all laws and therefore you will need a strong leadership team within your company. The Law of Explosive Growth explains this principle: to add growth, lead followers – to multiply, lead leaders. One thing I observed whilst reading the book is that a leader has to first know himself before applying most lessons. Many of them involve exposing yourself, making connections and empowering other people. But if you are ready for it, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is a great resource to read and apply in your life.

More on 21 Laws?—-john-maxwell – Executive Summary of 21 Laws – Summary of 21 Laws – Another Summary of 21 Laws